NATION

Fisheries Officers Encouraged To Undertake Enforcement Course

  Lack of knowledge on enforcement skills by fisheries officers in Pacific Island Countries has contributed to their countries being ripped off by foreign and local fishers. This was stressed
23 Feb 2017 11:00
Fisheries Officers Encouraged To Undertake Enforcement Course
A ship’s crew member is being interviewed about their catch.

 

Lack of knowledge on enforcement skills by fisheries officers in Pacific Island Countries has contributed to their countries being ripped off by foreign and local fishers.

This was stressed by the director of the Pacific Technical and Further Education (TAFE), University of the South Pacific, Hasmukh Lal.

Mr Lal has encouraged fisheries officers to undertake the USP TAFE -Certificate IV in Fisheries Enforcement and Compliance course which was initiated by the Forum Fisheries Agency to USP in 2014.

After going through the internal quality assurance, the programme was finally approved by the USP Senate in November, 2015.

The certification and approval meant that students enrolled in the programme would now be able to graduate during the University’s graduation ceremony, a privilege students did not have in the past.

“We run a lot of short courses but those are not qualifications,” he said.

Mr Lal said the Ministry of Fisheries from each country all over the Pacific would nominate a staff who will then be funded through the Forum Fisheries Agency.

“This is the first programme in the world of this nature.”

He said the training would equip them on how to enforce the fisheries law and how to check that the compliance was met with the fishing standards of their countries.

“This course will fully train the officers on how to go and monitor these people and how to ensure that all the policies and laws of that country are properly enforced,” Mr Lal said.

Mr Lal said the programme was designed to make studying more flexible for the practicing fisheries officers.

The officers must have at least three years of work experience.

“When we did the paper of approval, we clearly stated that this programme will not open in a semester basis but it will be offered on a cohort basis,” he said.

He said this programme targeted fisheries officers who are preoccupied with their own work.

“It will be very difficult for them to come and study on a semester basis every week for 18 weeks so we devised an innovative model called ‘Cohort Delivery’ where we are not going to compromise any learning hours of the programme because the moment we do, it will be a breach of the Senate regulations.

“This training that we have is part of a Certificate of Fisheries Enforcement and Compliance.”

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

 



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